Circuit Breaker: Bubble tea mania reveals what kind of society we are |

There’s something about bubble tea that is ingrained in Singaporeans – just pop down to the nearest mall and you’ll find them almost everywhere. Names like Koi, Gong Cha, and Tiger Sugar are on everyone’s lips, especially now that the latest Circuit Breaker measures mean that these stores have to be shuttered until 1 June.

Related: Singapore’s Bubble Tea Mania

As of 24 April, only one Gong Cha outlet is open for takeout and delivery – the one at Professor Brawn Enabling Village in Redhill. Delivery fees range from $8 to $15 for orders below $50. LiHo is also available via GrabFood when you order at their selected restaurants.

People love this sugary treat – despite repeated health warnings from the government – so much that when the latest restrictions on our circuit breaker were announced, EVERYONE went crazy.

Long queues

What happens when the government announces restrictions? Everybody queues like crazy. First, it was NTUC, and now it’s bubble tea shops.

Long queues formed at almost all bubble shops before they were supposed to close by midnight on Tuesday, according to a post on The Straits Times:

Screengrab of ST Facebook page

So much for social distancing… some people really prefer to take bubble tea over getting sick. Remember, you can still get your bubble tea fix after 1 June.

Fights broke out

After queueing for a long time, it’s only a matter of time before someone snaps. Police were called to a Playmade bubble tea store in Waterway Point when an argument broke out between a Grab driver and the store’s staff.

To be fair, Playmade received orders for about 600 cups merely an hour before they were due to close, so it’s understandable that orders were delayed.

Screengrab from CNA’s Facebook

Were you one of those people who placed an order for bubble tea online when you heard about the latest restrictions?

Some bubble tea stalls open; pearls sold out

Not ALL bubble tea shops are closed – those at hawker centres remain open. On Wednesday (a day after the closure of famous bubble tea shops), these shops saw hardcore fans of the drink depleting their supply of pearls within hours of opening.

Apparently those who didn’t manage to get their hands on bubble tea on Tuesday queued up at hawker centre bubble tea stalls like 7Tea Cafe, Beautea, and Dot Monster or placed orders online.

Related: Find bubble tea stalls via Hawkers United 2020

Singaporeans are really addicted to bubble tea. So much so that in order to control orders of the sweet drink, Taiwanese cafe I Love Taimei has mandated that you can only purchase bubble tea if you have a food order.

Bubble tea has certainly become a popular addiction. Just what is it about these chewy balls that people are so willing to queue – sometimes hours – for? We may never know, but it’s definitely looking like this obsession is here to stay, and nothing can keep Singaporeans away.